Did you or your child become disabled before the age of 22? Are you/they now an adult who faces financial difficulty because the disabling condition affects your/their ability to work?
If so, you/they could receive support through a Social Security program known as Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits. This article will help you understand more about the program and how to qualify for it.
What are Disabled Adult Child benefits?
DAC benefits are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) available to those who became disabled before the age of 22. The benefits are based on the work record of a parent who is retired, disabled, or deceased.
Eligibility requirements for DAC:
- Have a disability that began before the age of 22
- Be an unmarried adult child of a parent who is receiving SSDI, or Social Security retirement benefits, or is deceased.
- Meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of disability for adults. According to this definition, you must have a medically verified impairment that prevents you from engaging in what the SSA calls Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) and is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death.
Eligible individuals may include natural children, legally adopted, stepchildren, grandchildren, or equitably adopted children.
The amount of DAC benefits received will depend on the parent’s earnings record, the number of eligible children, and the overall family maximum benefit. But, the benefits received will not exceed 50% of the parent’s earnings. It’s important to note that their child’s receipt of DAC benefits does not affect the parent’s retirement benefits.
Additional Benefits and Considerations
Access to Medicare and Medicaid
Those receiving DAC financial benefits may also be eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, or both, depending on their circumstances. Medicare is a federal medical insurance program for individuals 65 and older or those with certain disabilities. Medicaid is a state-based medical insurance program for those with limited income and resources.
Employment, marriage, and other life events can affect DAC benefits
DAC recipients can work while receiving benefits, but there are limits on how much income they can earn. If their earnings exceed the SGA limit set by the SSA, their benefits may be reduced or discontinued.
Marriage could affect DAC benefits as well. If a disabled adult child gets married, their benefits may be discontinued or reduced. Also, benefits could be affected if you cohabitate with someone else and therefore share resources.
Periodic reviews by the Social Security Administration
The SSA will do periodic reviews to make sure that DAC benefit recipients still meet the eligibility criteria for disability benefits. It’s important to comply with these reviews and provide the necessary documentation to maintain eligibility for DAC benefits.
Getting Help Filing for Disability
Dealing with your or your child’s disability can cause enough stress without having to fill out all the necessary documentation for a disability claim. That’s why you may want to reach out to an experienced disability attorney for help. An attorney will know the documentation you need to prove your claim and can represent you in any appeals process you may have to go through.
At Brock and Stout, our attorneys work diligently to help clients and their families get the benefits they need. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your situation to see if we can help you and your family.